Okay so here is my question……Why is Grendel only described as a monster but then in Geatland where Beowolf was the lord, the monster was specifically desrcibed as a dragon. They said a dragon came. So do we assume that Grendel was or was not a dragon? It has truely been bothering me but maybe I am just looking too much into it….So like in Campbell’s piece, he described how dragons to some people are mean but to others they are sacred. I would research further into folklore to see all the monsters and animals mentioned to maybe find out what Grendel was. Is there a significance to the author only saying monster as opposed to dragon….or was it just overlooked? Also Beowolf fought Grendel’s mother under the water while the dragon he faced was fire-breathing. They are kind of the opposite….you know…fire and water. That is interesthing to think about. I might be leading myself into a corner because I am being so specific but it would be interesting if I actually found out so insightful information. On the Mythological and Archetypal link on Coffee’s blog, one thing that is mentioned is the meaning of the image of water. One thing that it can mean is redemption. So Beowolf beat Grendel’s mother as a sort of redemption. Everyone thought that after he got Grendel’s arm, they were home free. After the attacks happened again, I think people doubted Beowolf, as in he did not help us at all. So he beat Grendel’s mom to show how much of a hero he truely is. He changed Unferth’s mind. Then the dragon scenario, Campbell mentioned that fighting the dragon can be like fighting the dragon within ourself. So when Beowolf was fighting a dragon, he was actually fighting his own ego. So when Beowolf fought Grendel, it wasn’t technically a dragon so he really wasn’t pushed “too hard”….I use that loosely because I could never do what he did….because he wasn’t facing himself. Then when he actually had to face a dragon, the outcome was different. He was always too prideful and full of himself so he would have to face that fact one day. The dragon showed him.
I could also look into the whole Grendel being a descendant of Cain. Cain killed his brother and spilled the first blood. Cain was shunned from society. Grendel also does not fit in. He cannot go to the meadhall and have fun at the party. Grendel represents “a monstrous outsider enraged by the joy of brotherhood and society from which he is forever banished. His enmity towards Heorot is grounded solely in this moral perversion, which is another example of the hatred of the good simply because it is good.” (Williams, 45.) Grendel exhibits his envy towards the warriors as Cain did to his brother. He wants revenge. The Folklore and Mythology electronic text site had a section about Cain and Abel and what different countries had interpreted it. Turkey’s interpretation kind of made me angry……at the very end.
It said….It is related that when our mother Eve bare Cain and Abel, she bare a daughter along with each. God Most High commanded the Messenger Adam, saying, “For the sake of their offspring, give to Cain the girl born with Abel, and give to Abel the girl born with Cain.” The Messenger Adam did so.
Now the girl born with Cain was exceeding fair; and Cain said, “O father, let the girl born with him be his, and let the girl born with me be mine.”
Adam answered, “God Most High commanded otherwise.” But Cain loved that girl exceedingly; so he went and slew Abel. Thus because of a woman was blood first shed upon the ground.
So…….its all because of women, huh?